Rachel is currently a junior at University of South Florida studying Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with a concentration in International and Women’s Studies. She is also studying languages and continues with her vocal trading in opera.
Rachel is an advocate for those with disabilities, she has created her platform, The Ability Beyond Disabilities, over 8 years ago, to inspire those that have challenges to strive for their dreams as well as to educate those who might not understand the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.
As an individual with Epilepsy and Asperger’s syndrome - a form of autism , she often felt like she could not do things others could. People with disabilities or anyone who is different are often targets for bullies as she was, but because of her life and social experiences, she has overcome many challenges. Today Rachel is the spokesperson for the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida (CARD-USF), and was elected to their constituency board. She is also an Ambassador for the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, the Els Foundation, and board member for Safeminds Inc.
She recently returned from the Czech Republic where she volunteered over 100 hours working with children with disabilities and as a keynote speaker was able to share her story to parents and educators in 4 different languages.
Rachel is an award winning thespian obtaining superiors at the Florida Thespian State competition, a model , and currently writing her second book. Rachel is also a member of the International Thespian Honor Society, an honor student and vocalist. She was proud to win the student achievement award, the Presidential volunteer service award, the national triumph award and chosen out of the entire state of Florida as a Prudential spirit of community distinguished finalist for volunteer service. Rachel works with several organizations throughout the country that provide services to individuals with disabilities including therapy such as occupational and physical therapy along with music and art therapy. Rachel is known Internationally for her advocacy for individuals with disabilities.
Her goal for the future is to graduate from University with a degree in International and Women’s Studies with a theater vocal performance minor, and hope to travel and work at the United Nations!